Every time Anderson Silva fights, it is a bittersweet moment for fans of mixed martial arts.
On the positive side, we get to watch greatness in action. Silva is as smooth and fluid a fighter as one will find, and the way he destroys his opponents is a beautiful thing to watch.
However, Silva's trips to the UFC Octagon are becoming more and more infrequent, meaning that our chances to watch his legacy unfold are increasingly scarce.
So what does 2013 have for the champion?
This largely depends on how welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre fares in his title matchup with interim champion Carlos Condit at UFC 154 on Nov. 17.
If GSP can cruise by Condit and claim another victory, a matchup with Silva seems like the necessary route for the UFC to take.
It would unquestionably be the biggest super-fight in promotional history, and besides being a cash cow of an event, it would provide fans and critics resolution concerning the two longtime champs.
Who is better? How would the fight unfold?
These topics have been discussed almost endlessly, but a matchup could solve all our inquiries.
Needless to say, as a fight fan, you should be rooting for GSP against Condit in November.
If, however, GSP falls to Condit, Silva's year becomes far less interesting.
With a line of middleweight challengers clogging up the division, Silva will likely take a fight against whomever the UFC deems worthy and call it a year.
Barring anything drastic, I think you will see Silva defend his title against Michael Bisping, Chris Weidman or Brian Stann mid-year and then take a nice break to evaluate his career.
Silva's days are winding down, and that matchup could very well be his last. Obviously, I hope we see him in the Octagon five or more times before he retires, but that is just unlikely at his age.
Another possibility (and one that I hope we see) is Silva moving to light heavyweight.
Call me a conspiracy theorist, but when Lyoto Machida weighed in at 201 pounds against Ryan Bader for their UFC on Fox 4 matchup, I immediately thought, "Machida's going to middleweight, isn't he?"
Knowing that Silva and Machida are best friends, I then thought, "They're planning a switcheroo!"
While this may sound a little insane, I am not alone in that thinking. In the post-fight interview at the event, Dana White echoed these thoughts, saying that Machida's manager, Ed Soares, told him they "need to talk about something."
This, I hope, is the case.
Silva looks even more dominant at light heavyweight than he does at middleweight (if that is possible), and there is some serious potential for high-octane affairs for the longtime middleweight king at 205.
If this is indeed the plan for Machida and Silva, I expect a matchup with Shogun, Bader, Teixeira or somebody on that level for "The Spider's" next foray into the light heavyweight division.
If he dispatches of his first opponent at 205 quickly and easily, we may see a second matchup in the division, and it just may be for the title.
I know Silva and Jon Jones have already said they have no interest in fighting each other, but if the money and timing is right, it will happen.
2013 could be the most exciting year to date for MMA fans, and it is all because of the super-fight possibilities for Anderson Silva.
If none of that happens, expect a normal ho-hum year from the champ. On the bright side, even his "normal" years are spectacular by any other fighter's measure.
Silva is the man, and I do not see that changing in 2013.
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